My husband was more than a statistic. He was more than the events that occurred on his last day of living. My husband, Neil Ryan MacDonald, was a person, a soul, a spirit. He had quirks, gifts, talents, challenges, rough edges and bright spots. He was a father, son, brother, husband, colleague, and friend. Like anyone who knows someone, we know them in different ways. If you knew Neil, please share your favourite story or quirk in the comments section below.
Here are the top 10 things I loved about Neil MacDonald (in no particular order)
1) He had a perfect nose
2) He had beautiful blue/green eyes, the same eyes I see every day when our daughter Alexis looks at me
3) Our daughter Alexis who, if you know anything about biology, wouldn’t be here without his help
4) That he laughed at the silly football dances I would do when I was excited about something
5) His love for God
6) His adoration for his daughter, Alexis
7) I still hear stories from neighbours and friends that Neil would tell them he thought he was so lucky to be married to me. Spouses, parents, kids: talk up the people you love behind their back. It speaks volumes of your character, as Neil’s actions in this regard spoke volumes of his. Each time I hear one of those stories it is like opening a love letter that he left behind for me to read.
8) His love for music, especially anything with a phat-beat
9) When I first had Alexis and felt out of my element, not knowing how to be a mom, he encouraged me, and he stayed at home with us for the first two months, every day of which I was grateful for
10) His cooking. Oh man, could he cook. As his friends used to say, “We’re eatin’ large, when Bigga’s in charge!”
Below is a poem my sister, Joy (from Pardon my Poppet) wrote for Neil. It captured his bright spots well. Here it is again, in celebration of his life.
“A great big heart, with a hug to match, and a smile you just couldn’t help by catch,
A passion for all he did, an outlook like a little kid, a love for all he knew that blossomed more as it grew,
Miss him we will surely do, as each and every day is through, but memories will pass the mind, and smiles will return in kind,
So comfort in the privilege of having passed his way, and laugh as he would want you to as you recall day by day,
For truly life is much more grand, little moments shared together, a bit of his heart goes with us, and will now on forever.” EJO